We live on a lovely little creek in Clearwater.
In fact, we actually own a little bit of the creek.
It has tons of bird wildlife. It has snook and redfish and jumping mullet. It has flood insurance premiums you wouldn’t believe – whoops, let me back up a little.
We’ve never lived in a flood zone, so this is our first experience with flood insurance – what an eye-opener! In order to apply for flood insurance, we had to get an elevation certificate from a surveyor. $110 later we found that, like a lot of people in coastal areas, we’re in an AE zone. If you’re not familiar with flood zones, an AE zone, according to www.floodinsights.com, is an area inundated by 100-year flooding, for which BFE’s (base flood elevations) have been determined. OK, that’s probably more information than you wanted to know.
Our foundation is 2 feet below the base flood elevation of 9 feet. That said, we got a quote from our agent for flood insurance – the premium for the house ALONE is $5,198 with a $5000 deductible…if you add coverage for contents, the premium jumps to over $7K. Holy smokes.
The agent offered me a tiny glimmer of hope – she said that if you can show that an old FEMA map used to have your house located in a non-flood zone, you can apply to be “grandfathered” under lower flood rates. Our house was built in 1983. Jim found an old FEMA map that shows that in 1983, our house changed from a non-flood zone to an AE zone…so the question is, did our house get permitted before the change in flood zone? Jim thinks that it did, because he says that the house couldn’t have been permitted to be built 2 feet below flood level. We need to find some documentaton with the date our house was permitted – that will be my next bit of detective work at some of the local planning and zoning offices.
Maybe we’ll luck up with this – we’ll let you know how it goes!